Chief of the South African Army, Lt General Solly Shoke says the defence industry should invest in military communities as part of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes.
He says he last week told industry leaders at a breakfast that the military was also a community, often living in military cantonments.
“As the military we are a community,” he said indicating that the wives and children were also making sacrifices for the country so that their partners could defend it. “What I was saying to hem is that sometimes when they do their social responsibility … they do their CSR in communities far away from the military. But the military is a community… There are families, children, spouses that are sometimes in need as members of the community.
The Interim National Defence Force Service Commission last year found that some low ranking personnel had so little income left after deductions and bills that they were suffering from malnutrition. President Jacob Zuma in consequence in December last year announced modest salary increases.
Shoke on Thursday handed the TEK Base crèche R80 000. Years of underfunding and sloth on the part of the Department of Public Works means many military bases, including residential areas, are in dire need of maintenance and repair.